CDC Conducting Study on Dockless Scooter Use
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is conducting the first epidemiological study into dockless scooter use. The study will analyze data from Austin, Texas, and will partner with Austin Public Health and the Austin Transportation Department to report on the health effects of scooters.
The study will look at data from 37 emergency responder calls and 68 injury reports from scooter accident records at Austin-area hospitals. The study comes at the heels of local governments passing legislation that bans or heavily regulates e-scooters.
Austin was chosen as the model for the CDC study likely because it was one of the leading cities in adoption of e-scooters and has one the biggest scooter programs in the United States. Six scooter companies are currently authorized to deploy their vehicles in Austin, which account for about 11,000 total scooters in the city and surrounding areas. Austin has passed regulations that require the companies to keep their vehicles in designated geographical regions, but the regions end up overlapping with everyday use.
State governments and municipalities are eagerly awaiting the results of the study, as many are looking for reasons to either allow this mode of transportation to flourish or to shut it down entirely. Injuries from scooter accidents have grown with the popularity of the vehicles, and many scooters have been trashed or vandalized because of public frustration over their presence.
Still, the scooter industry has a significant number of supporters. Proponents of the vehicles say they are a green and convenient alternative to walking, biking, or driving. They offer people faster options to travel shorter distances without emissions.
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